May 28, 2024  
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Chemistry and Biochemistry


Professor and Chair

Zeev Rosenzweig
B.Sc., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 1986;  Ph.D., The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel 1992


James C. Fishbein
B.A. Johns Hopkins 1979; Ph.D. Brandeis 1985

Chris Geddes
B.Sc. Lancaster University, England, 1992; Ph.D. University of Wales, Swansea, 1996; Post-Doctoral Research, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland 1997-2000

Richard L. Karpel
B.A., Queens College, 1965; Ph.D., Brandeis University, 1970

William R. LaCourse
B.S., Charter Oak College, 1982; Ph.D, Northeastern University, 1987

Joel F. Liebman
B.S., Brooklyn College, 1967; M.A., Princeton University, 1968; Ph.D., 1970

Katherine L. Seley-Radtke
A.S., St. Petersburg Junior College, 1983; B.A., University of South Florida, 1992; Ph.D., Auburn University, 1996

Michael F. Summers
B.S., University of West Florida, 1980; Ph.D., Emory University, 1984

Associate Professors

Bradley R. Arnold
B.S., Dalhousie University, 1983; Ph.D., University of Utah, 1991

Brian M. Cullum
B.A., Frostburg State University, 1994; Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1998

Marie-Christine Daniel-Onuta
B.S., University of Rennes (France), 1998; M.S., 2000; Ph.D., University of Bordeaux (France), 2003

Elsa D. Garcin
Post-Doctoral The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla (CA) 1999; Ph.D. Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble (France) 1998; M.S. Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble (France) 1994

Lisa A. Kelly
B.S., State University of New York at Geneseo, 1988; M.S., University of Rochester, 1989; Ph.D., Bowling Green State University, 1993

Marcin Ptaszek
Ph.D. Jagiellonian University, Krakow (Poland) 2002; Post-Doctoral North Carolina State University 2004

Paul J. Smith
B.S., State University of New York Brockport, 1988; Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1993

Ryan J. White
B.A. University of North Carolina 2003; Ph.D. University of Utah 2007; Post-Doctoral University of California Santa Barbara 2011

Senior Lecturer

Tara Carpenter
B.A., Thiel College, 1999; Ph.D., Duquesne University, 2005

Tiffany Gierasch
B.S., Trinity University, 1997; Ph.D., Harvard University, 2002

Stephen Mang
Ph.D. University of California, Irvine 2008

H. Mark Perks
B.S., Bucknell University, 1970; Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 1980

Alllison Tracy
B.S. University of Delaware 2001; Ph.D. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2005

Assistant Professors

Mark Allen
B.S. Temple University 2001; Ph.D. Montana State University 2006; Post-Doctoral Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2012

Songon An
B.S. Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea 1997; Ph.D. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 2005; Post-Doctoral Pennsylvania State University 2011

Minjoung Kyoung
B.S. Ewha Womans University 1998; M.S Ewha Womans University 2000; Ph.D. Pennsylvania State University 2008; Post-Doctoral Stanford University & UC Berkeley 2012



Diane Hamilton
Post-Doctoral UMBC 2006; Ph.D. UMBC 1993; B.S. University of Virginia 1986


Adjunct Faculty

Aristotle G. Kalivretenos
B.S., Clemson University, 1985; Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1990

Wuyuan Lu
B.S., Nanjing University (China), 1984; M.S., 1989; Ph.D., Purdue University, 1994

Margarita da Silva Miranda
B.S., University of Porto, 1996; Ph.D., University of Porto, 2001

Wendy Olson
B.S., UMBC, 1985; Ph.D., University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1990

Jason M. St.Clair
B.A., Colby College, 2000; Ph.D., Harvard University, 2007

Glenn M. Wolfe
B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 2004; Ph.D., University of Washington, 2010

Rick Wormsbecher
B.S. University of California, Berkeley, 1975; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara , 1979

Affiliate Faculty

Linda Hodges
B.S., Chemistry, Centre College of Kentucky, 1972; Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Kentucky, 1979

Ana Prados
B.A., Physics & Chemistry, New College of Florida, 1992; Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, 2000

Katherine Squibb
B.S., Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 1971; M.S., Biochemistry, Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 1974; Ph.D. Biochemistry Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 1977

Professor Emeritus

C. Allen Bush
B.A., Cornell University, 1961; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1965

Arthur S. Hyman
B.S., City College of New York, 1955; Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1964

Ralph Pollack
Sc.B. Brown University, 1965; Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1968

Dale L. Whalen
B.S., Loras College, 1961; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1965

Associate Professor Emeritus

James S. Vincent
B.S. University of the Redlands, 1957; Ph.D.Harvard University, 1963


Instructor Emeritus

Suzanne Rottman


Courses in this program are listed under CHEM.

The undergraduate programs in chemistry and biochemistry offer students the opportunity to study in a program tailored to meet their career objectives in a department that is large enough to provide excellent training and research facilities and small enough to encourage a close working relationship with professors. The experienced, dynamic faculty of the department present outstanding credentials, with advanced degrees and post-doctoral training from some of the most prestigious schools in the world. They are devoted to both teaching and research. Their scientific and scholarly achievements attract close to $4 million in funding per year, resulting in many opportunities for students to participate in undergraduate research in faculty labs and to gain exposure to cutting-edge science in their classrooms.

The department offers three major programs: the B.S. in Chemistry, a rigorous program certified by the American Chemical Society; a B.A. in Chemistry, which provides the option of an increased number of electives so the student may combine a solid background in chemistry with other areas of interest, such as law, education, business management or environmental sciences.; and a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (jointly with the Department of Biological Sciences). A combined chemistry B.S./M.S. and or a minor in chemistry are also available to qualified students. In conjunction with the education department, a program leading to a B.A in Chemistry Education with an emphasis in either Biochemistry or Physical Chemistry may be pursued.

The programs of the chemistry and biochemistry department periodically are reviewed by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the professional organization that sets the standards for chemical education, and UMBC chemistry students consistently place at, or above, the norm in their standardized examinations. The B.S. degree in chemistry is accredited by the ACS. In a recent report, the ACS ranked UMBC 23rd in the nation as far as the number of chemistry/biochemistry graduates it produced.

Career and Academic Paths

More than 60 percent of the department’s graduates pursue further education (graduate programs in chemistry and biochemistry) or professional training (medical, dental, pharmacy, nutrition, veterinary medicine and environmental science) at such distinguished schools as Harvard; MIT; Oxford; The Johns Hopkins University; Stanford; University of Virginia and University of Maryland, Baltimore. Many students choose to continue post-baccalaureate studies at UMBC, enrolling in the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in chemistry, the M.S. or Ph.D. programs in biochemistry (joint with UMB) or molecular and cell biology, or the M.S. program in applied molecular biology (joint with the Department of Biological Sciences).

Academic Advising

The department assigns students to faculty advisors based upon the student’s declared major of either chemistry or biochemistry. After filing a Declaration of Major form, students should contact the department office.

Honors Program

The department does not offer an honors track, however specific honors sections of chemistry courses are offered. CHEM 101H - Principles of Chemistry I - Honors  and CHEM 102H - Principles of Chemistry - Honors , are offered in the fall and spring, respectively. In addition, upper-level honors courses are offered in selected topics. Departmental honors are awarded to graduates in chemistry or biochemistry who achieve scholastic excellence, which is defined as a GPA of 3.5 or better in all chemistry and biochemistry courses, combined with an overall GPA of at least 3.5. At least 18 credit hours in the Chemistry or Biochemistry major must be completed at UMBC and no course may be repeated in the major for a better grade.

Special Opportunities


Undergraduate research performed under faculty mentors within the department is encouraged. Participating students may receive credit toward graduation for this research through two upper-level courses. CHEM 399 - Tutorial Projects in Chemistry , provides an introduction to research and may be taken for one to three credits. CHEM 499 - Undergraduate Research  is an approved elective for the American Chemical Society-certified B.S. in Chemistry and requires preparation of a formal paper based on the student’s original research. A maximum of six credits of CHEM 499  or a maximum of eight credits from the combination of BIOL 398 , BIOL 399 , BIOL 499 , CHEM 399  and CHEM 499  may be taken. The department also offers industrial internships with various partners for additional hands-on experience. The Vitullo Award is presented each year to a junior or senior student working in a faculty member’s laboratory excelling in undergraduate research in the department.


The Department offers CHEM 396 - Undergraduate Learning Assistantship.  This service-learning course is designed for undergraduate learning assistants in non-laboratory chemistry courses. Students must be recommended in writing by the faculty member teaching the course and be approved by the department. Student work must be performed in a course taught by the Chemistry and Biochemistry department and must have a significant learning component. In addition to their classroom responsibilities, students will participate in a weekly session on effective learning methods and pedagogy taught by a member of the chemistry faculty. P/F grading only, credit will be earned for the mandatory weekly session and for the preparation for and interaction with students in the classroom. A maximum of eight credits of CHEM 396 is allowed. Permission of the instructor is required. Recommended Preparation: A grade of B or higher in the course that they will serve as a Learning Assistant.

Honors and Awards

A number of awards are conveyed to deserving students each spring. Among them are the Vitullo Award, Mittino award, Creighton award and Satterfield award.

Chemistry Tutorial Center

The Chemistry Tutorial Center is staffed by a full-time chemistry instructor and 25 advanced undergraduates who provide free tutoring for students in freshman and sophomore chemistry courses. Small group tutoring and computer-assisted, special topics lessons are available.

Student Organizations

American Chemical Society Student Affiliate (ACSSA)Chapter Chemistry/Biochemistry Council of Majors An American Chemical Society (ACS) student affiliate chapter supports an active lecture and tour program to acquaint UMBC students with various career options. The ACSSA outreach program into local elementary schools involves mentoring young students, as well as providing a program of science demonstrations to assist instructors in teaching chemical principles. The ACS affiliate chapter also sponsors the presentation of several undergraduate research projects at the student session of the national ACS meeting each year.


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of ScienceNon-DegreeBachelor of Science/Master of Science